Jackson's youngest, Prince Michael II (also known as "Blanket"), was born to a surrogate mother. If the legal side of the surrogacy procedure was handled properly, the surrogate cannot now obtain custody. She would be, legally speaking, a stranger to the child. If, however, her parental rights were never properly extinguished, her claim to custody would ride on a variety of factors, including whether she was Blanket's egg donor. If a custody battle ensues, Jackson's family will likely stress the importance of keeping the three children together.
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Explainer thanks Thomas Pinkerton of the National Fertility Law Center, Jason Schultz of Berkeley Law School, and Phil Spampinato of ILC Dover.